Once custody is assigned to a parent, there is normally an agreement for the other guardian to pay child support to the primary caretaker. This money is to be used for any expenses that may arise during the course of caring for the child. And while the payer may try to do so with the best intentions, unforeseen incidents can cause payments to fall by the wayside. Here’s how back child support works in Utah:
What is Back Child Support and Who Pays It?
If an individual finds themselves unable to consistently make child support payments, and those missed payments begin to mount, this is considered “Back Child Support.” The state of Utah says individuals are obligated to pay back child support until all balances are zeroed. Much like missed tax payments owed to the IRS, back child support can sometimes carry penalties and interest. And, if those missed payments extend beyond two years, the federal government may step in to try and collect any remaining balances.
What Happens If Child Support Payments Are Missed?
Child support is considered a key responsibility for the parent without custody. It ensures they are carrying their fair share of the financial load. Should an obligator find themselves unable to consistently handle this responsibility, the federal government may demand payment through:
- wage garnishment,
- withholding tax refunds,
- suspension of driver’s licenses
- and even jail time.
Both Utah and the federal government consider child support a debt, and will do everything within their means to collect it.
Can Back Child Support Be Forgiven?
In some circumstances, back child support may be forgiven. This, however, is extremely rare, and should not be viewed as the primary alternative to settling any debts. Forgiveness is determined on a case by case basis by the courts, regardless of whether or not the custodial parent has requested that the payer be released from any financial obligations.
What Can You Do You If You Owe Back Child Support?
Although falling behind in child support payments may seem like a hopeless situation, meeting the challenge head on is critical to avoiding or reducing the potential penalties. The first step towards taking control of the situation is by sitting down with proper legal council. Not being able to pay child support is an all too common scenario, and there are many qualified lawyers in Utah who know how best to approach each specific situation. Going to court and explaining changes in financial status can go a long way in demonstrating good faith towards former spouses and the legal system.
How to Collect Back Child Support
Few things can be as frustrating as trying to collect on unpaid child support. Contacting your attorney will provide you with the information you need on how best to proceed. Should the need to escalate the situation arise, contact the Utah State Attorney’s Office and explain your situation. They will advise you on what steps you need to take in order to involve the government.
Contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas for a Free Child Support Consultation
Do you need help with paying or receiving back child support? At the Law Office of David Pedrazas we understand that wading through the legal process can be a confusing, time-consuming battle. Let experienced Salt Lake City family law attorney David Pedrazas handle the process of paying or receiving back child support and ensure that you have the best outcome possible. To schedule a free case evaluation, please contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas PLLC online by filling out our contact form or by calling 801-263-7078 today!